High-Rise Tour: Day One – Ballard Day at the British Library

When I first heard of the High-Rise film tour, and heard of the Ballard day planned at the British Library I knew that I had to attend.

I arrived in the foyer and was struck by the magnificent sight of a High-Rise poster; the first I had seen since my arrival in London, despite constant assurances that they were adorning many a station.


I partook of the coffee and helped myself to copious amounts of the pamphlets… (I lie. I took one. I would never be responsible for a shortage of pamphlets….) and finally took my place in the arena!


Our first talk of the day was a wonderful discussion about 4 Ballard novels from the 70’s.


I very much enjoyed hearing from Fay Ballard about the family holidays to an apartment block, where the ground floor resident was very much annoyed by the cigarette ends that were thrown from higher floors, and they would take photos of the people throwing rubbish from up above and pin them up in the foyer!


Our next talk was a discussion about the Ballard related materials that are housed in the British Library. In this slide you can see a storyboard Image by Ben Wheatley!


In this slide you can see the actual first page of High-Rise, complete with Ballard’s notes. I found seeing this annotated image of the first page quite incredibly moving. high-rise-tour-(16) high-rise-tour-(17)

Next we moved onto a wonderful and frequently very funny discussion about Brutalist Architecture.high-rise-tour-(18) high-rise-tour-(19)

And all too soon it was time for High-Rise to begin….high-rise-tour-(21)

The wonderful Sienna Guillory and Enzo Cilenti introduced the screening of High-Rise. high-rise-tour-(23) high-rise-tour-(25) high-rise-tour-(26) high-rise-tour-(27) high-rise-tour-(29)

Seeing the film once more, after my viewing of it at the London Film Festival back on October… I loved the film then. I thought it was an absolute delight, but I was also very excited to see it, to a point where I was slightly scared that I may have looked forward to it too much and it could never meet my expectations…

I should not have worried. High-Rise is an absolutely wondrous film. It is beautiful to look at, and funny and everything I wanted it to be. On second viewing I saw so many things I had missed during the first viewing, and I cannot wait to see it many more times!


After the screening of High-Rise there was a wonderful talk with the amazing design team behind High-Rise: Mark Tildesley, Odile Dicks-Mireaux & Dan Martin.

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And finally I bade my farewell to the British Library, and headed to Leicester Square tube station, where I discovered FOUR magnificent High-Rise posters!high-rise-tour-(1)high-rise-tour-(4)



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